Bringing commercial vans from Europe to North America seems to be a growing trend among Detroit Automakers. It first began with the Dodge Sprinter (a Mercedes in all but name), then Ford followed with the tiny Transit Connect.
Now Chrysler, thanks to its alliance with Fiat is at it again, this time looking at bringing the IVECO daily to North American shores.
“It’s part of what we’re considering,” said Ram Truck CEO Fred Diaz in a recent statement. The Daily has long been a direct competitor to the Sprinter in Europe, where it’s offered in cargo and passenger configurations, with a choice of single and dual rear wheels and as a complete van or chassis cab.
Powertrain options across the pond include 2.3-liter and 3.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engines. Ram division is also considering Americanized versions of the Fiat Ducato light commercial van and confirmed that a version of the Fiat Doblo, which in Europe, competes directly with Ford’s Transit Connect, will also becoming to our shores.
But considering that the Daily and Ducato virtually occupy the same segment in their home market, is there room in North America for both vans? Difficult to say at this point in time, though in the short-term, it’s likely only one will get the green light. Given that the Daily boasts higher gross vehicle weights and load capacities than the Ducato, it probably makes more sense to import the former, especially for specialized school bus and larger camper conversions which require heavier-duty chassis. Stay tuned for more developments.